When the folks at Andromium launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Superbook project in July, they were hoping to raise $50,000. They did that… and then raised more than $2.9 million additional dollars.
Apparently they weren’t the only ones interested in an affordable accessory that lets you use an Android smartphone as if it were a laptop.
On the latest episode of the LPX Show podcast, I speak with Andromium CEO Andrew Jiang about the Superbook, his vision for the future of computing, and what’s next for the company.
The Superbook looks like a small laptop, and it has an 11.6 inch display, a full-sized keyboard, and a battery. But it doesn’t have a processor, operating system, or storage. Instead, you can plug in your phone to run Android apps on a larger screen.
But Jiang says you could also use the Superbook as a second screen for a Windows laptop or tablet or connect it to a mini PC like a Raspberry Pi or Intel Compute Stick to build your own laptop, much as people have been doing with Motorola Lapdocks for years.
Jiang says the Superbook is a peripheral for your smartphone that extends its capabilities… much like a keyboard, mouse, or gamepad does for a desktop.
He imagines that one day there could be a larger ecosystem of Superbook-like peripherals, allowing your phone to be the computer you carry everywhere. Plug it into your self-driving car and you can do work or enjoy media while travelling. Plug it into a dock at the office and start editing documents. Take it with you to the library and work on your resume on a public docking station, but keep your data on the phone itself.
The company expects to begin shipping the first Superbook devices to backers of the Kickstarter campaign in late January or early February. And if you missed out on the crowdfunding campaign, you can still place a pre-order for $109 and up (about $10 more than the prices during the campaign).
The first-generation Superbook is available with either a 1366 x 768 pixel TN display or an optional 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS display. There’s also an option for a backlit keyboard. But it’s possible that future versions of the Superbook could have additional features such as an option for a touchscreen display.